Private Tales Through the Mists

Keyleth

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Chaos was threatening to seize control of Minaris. In the weeks since the Naga attack that ended with the death of Duke Leonell, along with many of his spell weavers; it had become apparent to the surviving Duchess that not everything was as it seemed. A divisive faction had taken root, claiming that the Duchess was not the one who should inherit control of Drakefall; due in part to the fact that she was not nobility by blood... and also because she was a woman.

With her daughter, Aviana, sent away, there was no direct heir to take the throne. Which meant there was no way to bide time as the remaining nobles squabbled over who would be an appropriate husband -- and thus, who would wrestle control of the city into their own family name.

The only thing that had kept the court from outright overthrowing Keyleth, was who the Royal Guard gave their loyalties. And it was not to the men of the court.

Fighting had broken out in the first week, but it was quickly quashed when the Guard did not back down from their posts, nor did the citizens of Minaris rise up against their Duchess. The loyalty displayed by her men, and by her followers, had filled Keyleth with pride, and given her the strength she needed to continue her duties.

There had been much to do after the attack, and she used that need to focus the people of Minaris. Their dead were buried at sea, as was tradition. Repairs were affected to the damaged infrastructure and buildings. The grieving process had begun, but it would allow Minaris to heal.

Now, a tension hung in the air.

The mists clung to the outer edges of the territory, blocking travel both to and from the island. Her husband had sacrificed everything to raise those walls in order to protect the city, but now Keyleth questioned the decision; however, she did not regret sending her daughter away. If she had stayed, she would have been forced into a marriage in order to appease the demands of the noble houses.

All she could do now, was hope that Aviana was safe.

She stood in the throne room, gazing out the massive windows that overlooked the bay. In the distance, she could see the shroud of mist that encircled the inlet, cutting off the city from the rest of the world entirely. It was difficult to keep her thoughts from straying. While the Duke and her had a strained marriage, they had still been dear friends and respected one another. His loss weighed heavily on her, but she had not yet been afforded the opportunity to grieve his loss... or that of her daughter, who she wondered if she would ever see again.

She wasn't sure if she would ever get the chance to do so.

Something in the mist caught her eye and her brow furrowed slightly.

Scattered across the rocks at the very edges of the mistwall, was the wreckage of a ship. It was the first sign of the world beyond the mist that they'd had since the initial attack. Perhaps there were survivors...

Moving quickly, she spun away from the window and started to cross the massive, empty floor. The guard captain by the door tensed slightly at her approach, seeing the strained expression on her face. "My Lady?"

"Have Wiloughby ready the infirmary, Captain. Close the gates and do not let anyone other than myself, and the men I take with me, leave the city walls."

"Lady Selai... you've a meeting with Lord Cossick in twenty minutes?" His tone made it clear that he believed the Duchess had forgotten.

Keyleth scoffed, moving towards the door. "Tell Mathias that he can wait to make his next complaint about how I am not a man, until after I've returned."



Within ten minutes, Keyleth had saddled her own massive black elk and gathered three of her most trusted guards. The gates to the city rolling shut as the small rescue party charged out into the fading daylight.
 
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Thren

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"Well, this is a fine mess you've gotten us into." Thren said calmly, his lips thinning as a hand ran across his beard, fingers scratching gently through blackened hairs as he stared at the broken keel of the ship. Jagged rocks of jet black had buried themselves deep into the wooden hull, marring the vessel with a massive hole.

The former Ranger let out a loud sigh, turning slightly as his words were met with a loud bark. He frowned, glancing down onto the deck where a large brown and black dog was sitting. The animal was twice the size of any regular hound, his hair seemingly adding half that again.

"You were the one who wanted to go on the ship." Another bark. "Stupid dog."

Thren grumbled as he stepped off of bow of the ship and onto the main deck. The Dog trotted along besides him, sniffing along the floor as if it were searching for something.

The man of course wasn't searching at all, mostly because he had no idea what he would even be looking for. Most of the crew had abandoned ship half-way through the fog, preferring to take their chances with the long boats. The rest had either been washed off the deck or killed themselves for fear of monsters.

Thren had thought the latter a rather silly fear, but then again he'd seen monsters before and hadn't been all that impressed.

He sighed slightly as he reached the stern of the ship, plopping himself down in a chair that the captain had set up to make himself more comfortable during the voyage. The damned thing was more a throne than a chair, but the man had been something of a narcissist.

Paid well though.

As Thren sat within the throne he let out another sigh, calling the hound to his side. "Larik!"

Immediately the animals head snapped up, and without even a second thought it trotted over towards where Thren was sitting. Leaning to his side the mercenary let out yet another sigh, petting his dog as he thought about what he was going to do next.
 

Keyleth

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It took the better part of two hours for the small group to reach the actual site of the crash. They dismounted at a safe distance and left the elk behind, further up the path.

Halberd in hand, Keyleth strode down the rocky beach while carrying the weapon angled slightly behind her. It was a defensive stance, not intended to be threatening; but to let it be known she was armed. The guards crept forward with her; she waved for them to bunker down and hold their position as she moved towards the ledge of a rocky outcropping.


Kneeling at the edge of the rock, she swept her piercing gaze over the wreckage, frowning. She took a breath, and then her voice called out. "Is there anyone left alive down there?"
 
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Thren

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Thren was half asleep when he heard the voice echoing among the rocks and bouncing up towards the ship. His lips thinned almost instantly, eyes popping open as he glanced around for where the voice had come from.

Larik, as usual, was still sleeping besides the captains throne.

It wasn't that he had no talent as a guard dog, it was just that the Hound was tired after their journey. At least that was what Thren told himself as he glanced down at the hound with a frown. "You need to get better at this."

Thren told the dog who simply opened one eye and let out a loud huff.

The Barbarian rolled his eyes, and then sighed.

"Yes!" He called out. "I'm up here!"

Though he didn't sound too happy about it.
 
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Keyleth

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"Hmm..."

Keyleth mused quietly at the response that she got. The blunt wooden end of her weapon pressed against the wet stone next to her leg, while her gloved fingers tightly curled around shaft of the halberd. A scowl formed on her features, her brow knitting slightly together.

Whoever it was on board the wreckage, the didn't seem particularly concerned with their current predicament. Scavengers perhaps? An opportunist that had stumbled across the ship wreck and was trying his luck on the precarious crash site? Her thumb lightly tapped against the smooth wood of the halberd in thought.

Sighing irritably, she stood up to her full height, lifting the weapon off the ground and lowering it to her side.

She took a small, half-step forward to peer over the ledge of the rocks and onto the deck of the ship below. It wasn't too far of a drop from where she was.

One of the guards behind her seemed to catch on to what she was planning, and he stood up as if to protest as his Duchess took a few steps back. "No, wait Lady Selai, it's ---"

Not letting the man finish his sentence, Keyleth rushed forward and leapt over the edge, clearing the gap between the rocks and the ship's deck, and landed with a surprising amount of grace.

Shortly after, the woman stepped up onto the landing where Thren was seated on the makeshift throne. A brow arched slightly at the sight, and she set the blunt end of her weapon onto the ground. "You do not have the look of pariah leeching off the bones of the dead..." She said lowly, sweeping a stoic gaze over Thren's features.

"Perhaps you should explain yourself."
 
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Thren

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Kasim perked an eyebrow as the amazon woman landed on the bow of the ship, her feet touching the deck in a graceful display of gymnastics. Had he not been so surprised he might have clapped at the performance, though perhaps she would be pleased enough by the fact that Larik had raised his head.

Still, that was all the mutt had done. Instead of charging at what could be an attacker and defending his master The Hound simply looked at Keyleth, glancing at her as though she might have been another source of food.

Thren glanced at his dog for a moment, shaking his head in disappointment as he realized that the woman didn't even receive a growl from the hound. Was this because he hadn't trained him well enough? That was what his mother would have said, but the Barbarian wasn't going to blame himself in his own head.

That would be ludicrous.

"Well." Thren said as he leaned back in the makeshift throne, leaning to one side and resting his chin in his hand. "I'm shipwrecked."

He figured he would point out the obvious first. "The crew abandoned ship or killed themselves when we hit that fog, the Captain...well I'm actually not sure what happened to him."

For a moment Thren paused, then realized that the woman would likely try to claim that he had killed the crew. His lips thinned, and he once again realized that he had absolutely no idea where he was or who this woman represented. Was there a city? A tribal society?

Fuck.

"There's cargo in the decks below, some gold in the Captain's quarters..." Thren had already taken a considerable amount, but she didn't need to know that. "You can take it all. I just want to know where I am."

His voice was calm, level, yet as he spoke his eyes fell on the amazon for the first time. He looked her up and down, like a lion admiring a lioness. Both as dangerous as could be.
 
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Keyleth

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Having found the man on a crashed foreign vessel, it stood to reason that he was likely not from Minaris. The assumption was confirmed when the man opened his mouth to speak. His accent marked him as a mainlander, but the exact origin was difficult to place.

Perhaps he'd gone insane? She'd found him on a crashed ship, perched on what looked to be a large chair that was pretending to be a throne, while he proclaimed the rest of the crew was dead or had abandoned ship in the fog.

Her eyes naturally shifted towards the mists that drfited through the air a short distance away. A scouting team had ventured into the mist weeks ago. They had returned bloodied and delirious. Another team had volunteered to go, but they never came back. Travel through the mists was barred shortly afterwards.

Her piercing gaze swivled back to Thren, narrowing slightly as he offered the gold to her. "Do I look like a grave robber to you?" She growled lowly, then she shook her head as if dismissing the idea outright.

"Your ship has crashed on the Sheketh, near Minaris." She offered instead. "Is your Captain still on board? Is there anyone else left alive?"
 

Thren

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Sheketh? Minaris? Neither of those sounded particularly familiar to him. He knew that they had been sailing east and had traveled past the Naga lands, but other than that...he frowned for a second, scratching his beard and considering where he might actually have ended up. After a few moment he spoke up again.

”The big Island?” Thren entirely ignored the woman's questions.

She was a pretty thing, fierce looking and rather stern from what he could tell. She was the type he would have bedded in his younger days...well, still would, though now he would have preferred to just take her up against the nearest wall. The thought brought a smile to his face, though only for a brief second before he pulled his attention back to the situation at hand.

If Sheketh was what he thought really.s then there was trouble still on the road ahead.

Though if this woman was any indication then perhaps this place was inhabited by beautiful amazon women. He could live with that for a few months at least before things would start to grate on his nerves. The thought was rather enticing, but somehow he doubted it was a dream which would come to pass.

Too bad, he would have enjoyed that, as unlikely as it was.
 
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Keyleth

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Instead of answer her questions, the man countered with one of his own. Maybe he really was mad? Or perhaps delirious? The grin that crossed his features as he stared at her certainly didn't give any credit to his sanity.

Keyleth did not share the smile.

"My lady, is everything alright?" A voice called from the beach. Weighed down by their armor, the guards were unable to clear the jump themselves, and they had been left behind on the rocks.

The half-elf shield maiden did not take her eyes from Thren as she gave her reply. "Yes, everything is under control. I found the survivor. Make your way below decks, if you can. See if you can find any others."

She gave a soft sigh, sweeping her gaze over Thren's form. A human, with no trace if elvish in his features -- an uncommon sight on this part of the island. He was handsome, in a rugged sort of way. She appreciated that he didn't have the clean shaven face of a self righteous noblemen. She had more than enough of those to contend with in the city.

"Will you be making this,"
she gestured around her with a wave of the halberd to the wrecked ship, "your own little kingdom, or would you like to move elsewhere, perhaps?"
 
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Thren

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Thren heard a male voice, and suddenly he felt disappointment grow in his chest. A frown touched his features and ruefully the Barbarian shook his head. "Too bad really."

He commented quietly to Larik. The hound glanced up at his master for a moment, let out a huff and then slowly pulled himself onto his paws. The little beast knew that it was time to go, either from Thren's own demeanor of the way that the Amazon woman was standing.

A sigh escaped Thren, and slowly he pushed himself up from the Throne. "I need no Kingdom, just some ale, and perhaps a warm bed with you in it."

He glanced around and began to chuckle to himself.

"The last few nights have been cold." It was clear that the man had little regard for protocol or even manners. Thren had never particularly cared about the ways of others, and mostly he just did what suited himself.

A broad smile showed through his beard, an uproarious laugh shaking him as he began to cross the deck.
 
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Keyleth

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While Thren was crude, Keyleth hated to admit to herself that it was refreshing to have someone speak to her in such a blunt manner again. At court there was always so much double speak, dancing around the subject, and nuance. She missed the days of being a simple soldier, when she could speak to a person and have them respond with exactly what they thought. After her marriage to the Duke, that had all gone away.

Guards and soldiers were not permitted to speak to a noble woman in such a way. The crass jokes, the good humored banter, the knowing where she stood with an individual... It had all vanished away when Leonell had lifted the veil on her wedding day all those years ago.

Her eyes narrowed slightly at the barbarian as he moved forward, laughing as if what he'd said was actually hilarious -- and perhaps, for him, it was. For Keyleth, it signaled to her that he had no idea who she was at all.

"You'll have to continue to share a bed with your mutt." She countered wryly. "Though, I can at least offer you shelter in the city."
 
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His laugh renewed itself. ”I'm afraid youre mistaken, this dog needs a bed all his own.”

The hound finally picked itself up from the ship deck and Keyleth would see for the first time just how big Larik actually was. Even on all fours the beast was almost twice the size of any normal dog, and although it seemed almost gentle in nature it was obvious he could easily tear apart any ordinary man.

A creature fitting to accompany Thren.

”But I'll take the shelter.” Finally the Barbarian came to a stop before Keyleth, his bulk shifting only slightly. She would see that he wore heavy black armor, though would find no weapons save for a small knife on his back. ”As long as its on dry land.”

No more ships.

He hated ships.
 
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Keyleth

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Men being taller than her was not something new to the Duchess; however, that did not stop her from being annoyed by the fact that the barbarian loomed over her. Not because it made her uncomfortable, but because she knew it would give him the false impression that he had an implied position of power over her. Casually, she raised her chin as she looked up to him. After more than a century as a soldier and then years in Court, she had learned to make the gesture subtly defiant instead of meek. There was a hardness to her eyes, a stern glint that gleamed whenever she furrowed her brow.

Her mouth was a firm line, lips pressed tightly together.

Behind her, one of the guards paused at the top of the stairs. He quietly cleared his throat, raising a fist to his mouth. "My lady, we searched the wreckage. It would seem this uh..." He paused, sweeping his gaze skeptically over the Thren momentarily. "... gentleman is the only survivor, but we did find some valuables below deck..." His sentence trailed up, though the question was implicit.

Keyleth turned her head towards the guard at the sound of his approach, sighing heavily. Dead men would have no use for their riches, nor their supplies. Ever the pragmatist, she nodded once. "Gather what you can. We will send a proper recovery team for the rest. No sense for the supplies to rot."

Her eyes briefly flicked back to Thren, as if expecting a protest from the man. "You will be compensated for the... inconvenience. "
 
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Thren shrugged.

If he seemed at all bothered by her rather stand-off nature then he showed absolutely no sign of it at all. As far as the Barbarian was concerned what happened on this ship was none of his concern. He'd been hired as an escort for when the vessel passed by the Naga lands, though nothing had happened when they'd actually gone by there.

He had taken his pay from the riches within the cargo hold, and that was really all he needed. As far as he was concerned any debt that was owed was already paid, everything else? Everything else was not his to take.

"We've already come to our agreement." Thren said with a shrug.

The ship really wasn't something he cared about.

As far as he was concerned this woman had promised him a bed and some comfort on a piece of land. It was better than staying on this damned vessel, and once there he could figure out how he would get back to the mainland. "Take what you want. The dead don't need it."

Thren said, echoing Keyleth's thoughts.
 
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Keyleth

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Giving a swift bow, the guard clamped his fist over his breast plate and then turned to leave. His armor was far finer than the more rugged apparel that Keyleth was adorned in, but that was intentional on her part. If she paraded around in polished armor with all the pageantry that often accompanied her status two things would happen: one, she would be painfully easy to pick out as a pristine target of opportunity; and two, it would take her ages to get dressed. Even as long-lived as she was, she did not have the patience, nor the time to be bothered with it.

She didn't have much of a leg to stand on it Court, but she would be damned if she was told how to dressed in the field.

"We'd best be off then. Enough sunlight has been wasted." She remarked, turning to make her way down the flight of stairs as well.

Down below, one of the guards crossed the bottom of the stairs with his arms filled with several boxes; he glanced up at the sound of her descent. "We'll be ready for departure here shortly, Aegis." He grunted, shifting the weight of the boxes as he continued on without much of pause to address the duchess.

Keyleth smirked to herself. Beslin had been at her side for most of her life, even before she'd even caught the attention of the Duke -- as such, he rarely used her proper title. She had never felt compelled to correct him. The man was nearly as tall as Thren, with long hair that was pulled back at the nape of his neck. There was a large scar that cut diagonally across his face; but if anything, that only added to his good looks.

His green eyes lingered on Thren as he walked past, smirking to himself.

She glanced over her shoulder at the barbarian and chuckled at something. She knew that look all too well.

"Well... are you coming?" She asked, a hint of humor in her tone.
 
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Thren

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The Barbarian wasn't brain dead, he saw the smirk, the way the man sauntered on by, and he couldn't help but smile back.

Thren didn't lean in that sort of way, but among the Siruk love between men was not all that uncommon. When soldiering was the way of life, a few...incidents intended to occur. It had never been something even a little taboo in his tribe, unlike in many of the larger cities in Arethil.

Especially Vel Anir. They were a judgmental bunch.

"Of course." Thren answered with a slight smile. It was starting to become obvious to even him that this woman was some sort of Noble. He wasn't entirely sure what, but he felt almost...disappointed. In his experience nobles tended to be more...well outright boring.

He had hoped from her manner of dress that she would be of the more fun sort.

Thren supposed he would have to do some more digging to find out.
 
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Keyleth

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Keyleth led the barbarian off the ship, across the rocky beach, and up the path to where the great elk had been tied off. "I trust you've never sat the saddle on an elk before?" She asked, walking over to the spare beast they had brought along in case they found wounded. If the man hadn't known where he was, or much about Minaris, she could only assume that he'd never ridden anything other than a horse, or a wench.

She grabbed the reins of the tawny buck, untying the knot from around the tree, and then led the beast over to the barbarian. "Beslin will insist you ride with him, if you can't figure it out." She said lowly, a smirk at the corner of her mouth. It was the closest she'd come to a joke since she'd found him.

"I may just do that, anyways." The man called back, giving a good-natured laugh as he tossed a bundle of exotic furs onto the back of his own mount.
 
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Thren smiled, looking up at the great beasts for a moment and even stepping up to one. He patted the creature on the face, and it seemed to snort for a second, glance at him, and then almost lean into his touch. Larik came up behind him, glancing up at the large Elk and flattening his ears slightly.

"It's alright boy, this one won't hurt you." Thren smiled, patting the creature on the side of the face for a few more seconds and then speaking again. "Right?"

The elk made a small chortle from it's throat.

A wide grin crossed the Barbarians face, though eventually he gave the large creature one last scritch and turned to face the two foreigners. "I'm faster on my own feet."

He doubted they would believe him, few ever did.
 
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Keyleth

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Impressed by the man's skill with animals, Keyleth quirked a brow but made no remark on the matter. Instead, she turned back to Beslin and handed the beast over to him. "It would seem our new friend would prefer to run the entire trip back. Load this elk up with what you can to spare your own beasts from being overburdened."

Beslin stared at Keyleth for a moment, then he glanced over to one of the other guards. "I do believe that our fair Lady has just insinuated that I am fat, gentlemen. Burdensome even!" He exclaimed, feigning offense.

"That's because you are, ya great oaf." One of the men quipped back at him, chuckling.

"I've never felt more betrayed in my life, than I do right now, Seamus." Beslin muttered under his breath, cinching down more supplies on the elk that Keyleth had given him.

The one called Seamus guffawed, and moved over to help Beslin load up the rest of the cargo. Both men bickering incessantly as they worked. Keyleth enjoyed the banter, but she also enjoyed peace and quiet.

Quite suddenly, she had mounted up on her black elk. The mount snorted and tossed its head, pawing at the muddy earth. "My men will follow once they've finished. Let us see just how fast you really can run, shall we?"
 
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Amusement once again sparked across the Barbarians face, his lips parting with a wide smile as he slowly squatted down and scooped up a handful of dirt. ”Sure, lass.”

His voice was calm, his tone unchanged as he clutched the dirt between his fingers.

She would not see it. Nobody would, but as Thren began to pour the dirt from his hand and back to the earth it seemed to fall faster than it should have been able to. Even as it landed there was something odd about it, the small clumps of earth impacting the ground and leaving tiny dents instead of simply resting atop the soil itself. When it had all fallen from his grasp The Barbarian looked up at Keyleth with that same smile.

”I'll be right behind you.” There was a reason the Siruk were such good mercenaries.

His Tribe could run faster, fight longer, and keep themselves together better than any other soldier. It was a point of supreme pride for his people, and as Keyleth began to head off she would find Thren could more than keep any pace she set.
 
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Keyleth

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To say that Keyleth was impressed with Thren's ability to keep pace with her elk would have been an understatement. Smirking to herself, she gave the elk his head and slid her halberd into the leather sheath that was strapped diagonally across her back. The elk give a trumpeting bleat of exuberance once it was set loose to gallop through the forest to its heart's content.

Thundering hooves, the sound of the ocean pounding against the shoreline, the wind in her hair, and the freedom of racing along the path sent Keyleth's spirits soaring. A broad smile was affixed to her features as she held onto the pommel of the saddle to keep her seat.

"You weren't lying!" She cried out, laughing.
 
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Thren kept pace.

Every step of the way, every little leap and bound. The Barbarian didn't at all seem bothered by the pace that Keyleth set, though of course there was reason for that. It was the magic of his tribe, the ability that made them such grand soldiers. He could run this fast, move this quickly because at the moment he weighed a fraction of what he was supposed to.

The density of his bones, some of his muscles, and even his blood had been simply taken away.

He was lighter than he had any logical right to be, and that allowed him to run faster. Of course, were he get into a fight right now he would be a pathetic sight. His strikes would only be a fraction of their strength, his bones would break like fresh made glass, and his blood would flow like the Errinin River.

"Oh I assure you, I mean every word I say." Thren spoke with a grin already splitting his face.

It was obvious what he meant, the Barbarian wasn't subtle.
 
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The both of them raced across the landscape. Keyleth took up the reins once more, holding them against the elk's neck so that she didn't pull his head back and slow him down. There was something freeing about galloping through the forest, with no real reason for doing so. For a short time, the weight of Minaris was eased from her shoulders and she could allow herself a moment of enjoyment.

As they neared the city walls, she squeezed her legs against the elk's sides and slowed his pace to a canter, then a trot, and finally to a leisurely walk. She didn't want to cause alarm in the city guards that patrolled the walls, and she knew that someone would disapprove of her charging across the highlands. Something about unladylike behavior.

At the edge of the forest, she brought the elk to a complete stop and shifted her weight in the saddle. She gave a soft sigh and gestured towards the walls and the buildings that lay beyond them. Further up the hill, there was a pragmatic and yet refined keep watching out over the city. They were still quite a ways from the gates themselves, the rolling hills of the mountains separating the forest from the city itself.

She looked to the barbarian and realized that the two of them had yet to actually introduce themselves. "Minaris." She took a deep breath and slowly exhaled, rolling her shoulders. "I must warn you that you've arrived at a time of... tension for the city. Nevertheless, we are not a people to turn away those in need of help."
 
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As they came to a stop Thren stopped by a nearby tree. His gaze didn't fall on the city, but instead he casually leaned against the trunk of the massive oak. The Barbarian seemed to shift slightly, his face never changing.

Yet as a wind gently brushed over the land the tree behind him seemed to sway more than it should have, moving as though it were lighter than it should have been. ”Tension? “

He mused out loud to the amazon woman.

It seemed that there was tension everywhere in the world now. People fighting one another, Kings gathering armies, Noble Houses pooling their strength. Even the elves were preparing themselves, almost as if the whole of the world was taking in a deep breath...just waiting to let it go. It was a dangerous prospect, the conflict that sat on the horizon. People would die, villages would be lost, chaos would ensue.

For Thren though, for him it meant only one thing; work.

The Siruk were mercenaries, plain and simple. For generations they had hired themselves out as soldiers. It was of course why there were so few left of them now, but the traditions were rooted deep. Even within Threns mind.

”Getting yourself into trouble are you?” He teased her, clearly amused.
 
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Keyleth

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She raised a brow at the man, doubting that he had any real interest in politics. Had she not been forced into the situation all those years ago, she found it unlikely that she would have cared herself. But no, her she was, thrown into the middle of something that was not even technically her fight. Leonell would have found something amusing about it all.

A quiet sigh escaped her, and she shook her head. "Has nothing to do with what I want." She answered softly.

"If you are curious, I will tell you. If you've little interest in such things, I do not see a reason to bore you with the topic." The duchess added a moment later, returning her gaze to the city before them.

"My only advice is that you be wary, though it pains me to have to say that about my home."
 
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